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I just started learning German through DW online courses. I can not find how to type the ß and capital ß (ẞ) on the German keyboard of Windows 8.


locked by Wrzlprmft Nov 15 at 13:44

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marked as duplicate by Wrzlprmft Sep 16 at 11:28

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You are using the German keyboard? If so, the ß is the key to the right of 0 (zero). Capital ß is not to be found on the German keyboard. See answers as to why. – Jan Sep 16 at 9:21
Closing this question as there are two actual questions here, one of which is also answered elsewhere and one which isn’t actually answered. If you (or anybody else) are interested in actually producing the capital eszett with a keyboard and are aware of its orthographical status (see here and here), please ask a new question. – Wrzlprmft Sep 16 at 11:33

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As I understand your original question, you are after the regular lower case ß.

You can find it on a German keyboard layout: the letter ß is one key to the right of the number zero(0). As others have suggested, the upper case use of ß is normally substituted by SS.

I am typing this on a laptop with Windows 8, where I can use a shortcut key to switch between different keyboard layouts.

If you have a touch device you may need to install the keyboard layout for German to see the key on the on-screen keyboard.

Thanks. My keyboard doesn't have German letter printed on the keys (its English/Arabic). I looked up this Wiki article the ß character is mapped to another location on the keyboard. Anyway your answer solved the problem, thanks – Kareem Ergawy Apr 14 '14 at 8:47
I have a German keyboard and if I should ever feel the unlikely desire to type such a nonstandard symbol, something like thie might help me out – Hagen von Eitzen Apr 15 '14 at 13:06

Officially, there is no such thing. Yes, some typographers have designed a ß to better go along with other capital letters, but it's still a (very) far cry from universal adoption.

Since there are no words starting with ß you'd only need it for all caps. Just use SS for now, is my advice, if you must.

In Gendering environments this sentence is dangerous. They may write anything in uppercase, if they seem fit. – Toscho Apr 14 '14 at 13:51
I am not sure I follow. Are you talking about a word like StudentInnen? I fail to see how that relates to my advice to use SS instead of ß when using capitals. It's what Duden recommends, after all. – Ingmar Apr 14 '14 at 14:11
Since there are also capitals inside words, you may not only need ẞ in all-caps. – Toscho Apr 14 '14 at 16:03
Can you think of a single case where you'd need (or, want) a capital ß inside a word, while the rest stays in lower case? I certainly can't. Whatever your opinion of it, it's called Binnen-I for a reason. – Ingmar Apr 14 '14 at 17:18
It is true that both Geschoss and Geschoß are legal variants, but what has choosing one version over the other to do with gender discrimination? Contrary to what some might believe, those "gender people" don't throw around random capitals in their words, they actually have a purpose: StudenInnen is meant as shorthand way to denote both "Studenten" and "Studentinnen", e.g. Using a capital ß would not serve any such purpose (not one that I could see, anyway). – Ingmar Apr 15 '14 at 4:22

There is no capital ß as a and A in current German written language, even thought it appears to have an Unicode code.

Only when using it for small caps there is a need for it, but this isn't a real letter but more a type of font (as a in small caps would also be).

Oh I have to correct myself ... – frlan Apr 15 '14 at 10:03
You don't, really. Even Wikipedia clearly states: Sie ist nicht Bestandteil der amtlich verbindlichen deutschen Rechtschreibung. ("... not part of the officially binding rules of German orthography.") The Unicode consortium, on the other hand, likes to cover their bases, and there's nothing wrong with that. (Those are the guys who thought Klingon needed a place in there, too. Capital sharp s? Yeah, we've got that.) – Ingmar Apr 15 '14 at 10:43

I use the alt codes, which work in certain formats. This does not require you to have a new keyboard, download any programs, install any software, or continually copy paste. However, not all programs will accept alt codes.

You hold down alt, type a few numbers, then release alt. Remember to engage Num Lock if using the keypad.

ß = alt + 225

Other unique German letters:

  • ä = alt + 132

  • Ä = alt + 142

  • ö = alt + 148

  • Ö = alt + 153

  • ü = alt + 129

  • Ü = alt + 154

There are also alternate codes for all of these, using four numerals:

  • ß = alt + 0223

  • ä = 0228

  • Ä = 0196

  • ö = 0246

  • Ö = 0214

  • ü = 0252

  • Ü = 0220

Nitpicking: at least Ä,ä,Ö and ö are anything but unique to German... – Gerhard Jan 17 at 15:47

On Gnome 3 in Debian Linux with German layout eszett(ß) type by - key which goes after zero key without pressing shift key.

enter image description here

German layout DIN 2137-1:2012-06

When loading a German (Germany) keyboard layout this will always will be the location of ß. Consider to extended your answer showing how to quickly change keyboard layouts while typing. This however will not give us a capital ẞ - you should point that out ;) – Takkat Jan 17 at 16:47
As far as I understand there is no capital ß. Standard way to change layout in latest Gnome 3 versions is to press WinKey+Space or by holding WinKey press several times Space key, depending how much layouts do you have. – Zeke Fast Jan 19 at 13:12
Probably there could be a different UTF code for capital ß, but it will look the same. – Zeke Fast Jan 19 at 13:14

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